Women’s Basketball Loses Second Straight, Holden Scores 1,000


Lauren Holden scored her 1,000th point in a 72-50 loss at Dayton University. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

By Jack McLoone

The Fordham women’s basketball team’s struggles at Dayton continued on Sunday when it lost 72-50. The Rams are now 12-7 (3-2 in Atlantic 10 play) and have lost back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 25 against no. 10 Texas and Nov. 29 against Georgetown. The 22-point loss was the worst of the season.

The game started off on a very positive note, as senior guard Lauren Holden hit a step-back three to put her over 1,000 career points. She is the 21st Ram to reach this benchmark. She finished the game with seven points. However, the Rams were in the middle of a hotly-contested game and on the road, so there was no pause for recognition.

“We knew Lauren only needed a few points but I think everyone was caught up in the game,” said head coach Stephanie Gaitley via email. “I am really happy for Lauren to reach such a milestone – she’s a great kid and a great competitor.”

That three cut the Rams’ deficit to 10-5 halfway through the opening quarter, and they were able to turn on the heat late to cut that lead to 16-14 by the end of the first.

For about half of the second quarter, it was a back-and-forth game. Guard Brittany Ward put Dayton up four, but then two free throws from Fordham sophomore guard Kendell Heremia cut it back down to two. Guard Shakeela Fowler put the Flyers back up four, then senior forward Mary Goulding and sophomore guard Bre Cavanaugh hit back-to-back shots to knot the game up at 20.

But over the remaining seven minutes of the second quarter, the Flyers went on a 16-7 run to open up a 36-27 lead going into the half.

All 20 of Dayton’s points came in the paint in the second quarter.

The first half numbers for the Rams were at the very least tolerable, though shooting a tick over 43 percent from the field didn’t cut it when Dayton shot over 58 percent. The Rams also were 3-7 from three, while Dayton was 2-7.

The Rams were burned the most in turnovers. They turned the ball over eight times in the first half, and while Dayton only turned that into four points, those are still lost possessions.

But in the second half, the bottom fell out for Fordham. Holden hit a jumper to bring Fordham within seven with 8:45 left in the third quarter, but the lead was never narrower than that over the rest of the contest. With 3:27 left in the quarter, a three from Dayton guard Jayla Scaife put the Flyers up 10, and the lead stayed in double-digits the rest of the way, ballooning to 15 by the end of the quarter. The Rams scored just 10 points in what could have been a crucial quarter, but instead they sank the game.

The fourth quarter was much of the same, with Dayton pouring in another 20 points to out-pace Fordham’s 13 to put the score at its 72-50 final.

In the second half, the Rams shot just 28 percent from the field, including just 1-10 from three. Cavanaugh was the Ram’s leading scorer despite scoring just 11 points on 5-13 shooting. It was the third game in a row that she made just one three and the ninth time this season that she made one or no threes. No other Ram had double-digit points.

The leading scorer for the game was Dayton’s Jayla Scaife, who had 19 points, including 3-4 from three, and also had a game-high 13 rebounds. The Flyers out-rebounded Fordham 39-27, showing further dominance in the paint that was exhibited in the 20-point second quarter.

In both of the Rams’ back-to-back losses, a main problem has been the team’s three-point percentage; in both games they have shot under 24 percent from behind the arc. As a whole, they are shooting about 30 percent from three on the season.

“As far as shooting the three we don’t dictate how many we will get or make,” said Gaitley. “The defense does that. If we are struggling from outside, we encourage the kids to be more aggressive attacking the basket.”

If the Rams hope to fend off a true losing streak by losing their third straight, it will not be easy, as they are on the road once again to face the University of Rhode Island, another Rams team. URI is 7-10 on the season and 2-3 in A-10 play, though they are coming off a 74-39 drubbing at the hands of Virginia Commonwealth.

Gaitley, for one, is trying not to worry about the streak.

“You can only take games one at a time. We don’t think about streaks on either side,” she said.

The Battle of the Rams will tip off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24.